Earth-Shaking Energy of Shake it Off, The Science Behind Taylor Swift’s Seismic Concerts

Taylor Swift

Swifties Shake the Earth Taylor Swift’s Seattle Concerts Cause Seismic Activity

Taylor Swift, the reigning queen of pop, has a loyal fanbase known as the Swifties, who are passionate about her music and performances. Recently, during her Seattle Eras tour concerts at Lumen Field, the enthusiasm of the Swifties reached seismic proportions, resulting in a noteworthy event. According to seismologist Jackie Caplan-Auerbach, the Swifties caused seismic activity equivalent to a 2.3 magnitude earthquake on both nights of the concert.

This peculiar occurrence has been likened to the infamous 2011 Beast Quake, triggered by Seattle Seahawks fans during a football game. In this article, we delve into the intriguing science behind this phenomenon, exploring the comparisons, the data, and the impact of Swift’s concerts on the ground.

Swift Quake vs. Beast Quake, A Seismic Showdown

The 2011 Beast Quake, an earthquake-like phenomenon, was witnessed when Seattle Seahawks fans erupted into jubilant celebrations after a remarkable touchdown by running back Marshawn Lynch, fondly known as “Beast Mode.” The ground-shaking cheers were detected on a local seismometer, capturing the seismic energy generated by the elated fans.

Fast forward to Swift’s Seattle Eras tour concerts; the Swifties mirrored the same seismic fervor, causing seismic activity of a 2.3 magnitude. Seismologist Jackie Caplan-Auerbach noted the striking similarities between the two events when she analyzed the data collected during both nights of the concert.

The Science Behind the Swift Quake

As a geology professor at Western Washington University, Caplan-Auerbach took keen interest in the comparison between the two seismic occurrences. Upon examining the data from Swift’s concerts, she observed that the seismic signals were remarkably identical, overlaying almost perfectly. The only noticeable difference was a roughly 26-minute time variation between the shows. Upon investigating further, Caplan-Auerbach discovered that the Sunday show was delayed by about half an hour, which accounted for the temporal disparity in the seismic data.

Unraveling the Magnitude and Intensity

While the magnitude difference between the Beast Quake and the Swift Quake was a mere 0.3, the Swifties exhibited an unparalleled level of excitement, surpassing the Seahawks fans. The intensity of shaking caused by the Swifties was twice as strong as the Beast Quake, making it an impressive and unforgettable seismic event. Caplan-Auerbach attributed this substantial difference to the duration of shaking and the nature of the events.

In the case of the Beast Quake, cheering after a touchdown lasted only a few seconds before subsiding. In contrast, the energy during Taylor Swift’s concerts was sustained over approximately 10 hours, driven by the rhythm of the music, the speakers, and the enthusiastic fans’ collective energy.

The Impact of Rhythm on the Earth

Caplan-Auerbach explained that the continuous and rhythmic behavior during a concert has a distinct effect on the ground. As the crowd responds in sync with the music, the energy generated by their collective movements can penetrate the Earth’s surface, causing it to shake. This phenomenon was amplified during Taylor Swift’s concerts, as the Swifties danced, sang, jumped, and cheered with unparalleled enthusiasm. The ground beneath their feet literally trembled under the power of their exuberant energy.

From Geology to Swiftie: The Joy of Demystifying Science

For Caplan-Auerbach, the chance to study and analyze the seismic data from Swift’s concerts has been an exciting journey. As a scientist, she revels in the opportunity to share her discoveries and demonstrate that science isn’t confined to laboratories and white coats. Everyday observations and experiences, such as the Swift Quake, can be scientifically intriguing and provide valuable insights into various phenomena.

The Concertgoer’s Perspective

CNN’s Chloe Melas, who attended one of Taylor Swift’s Seattle concerts, shared her first-hand experiences as a concertgoer. She described the event as unlike anything she had ever experienced before. The ground beneath her feet shook with the vibrations of the music, and the excitement of the Swifties was palpable. Melas also highlighted that her ears were still ringing from the roaring cheers and energetic performances.

Taylor Swift’s Impact and Accomplishments

Taylor Swift’s Eras tour has been a resounding success, drawing in massive crowds and revitalizing local economies in the cities she visited. The concerts have broken attendance records and left an indelible mark on fans across the country. After the domestic run of her tour, Swift is set to take Eras international, with a show in Mexico City on August 24.


Taylor Swift’s Seattle Eras tour concerts not only captivated her adoring fans but also left a seismic mark on the region. The Swifties’ unbridled enthusiasm and rhythmic energy caused seismic activity equivalent to a 2.3 magnitude earthquake, surpassing the legendary Beast Quake triggered by Seattle Seahawks fans. Seismologist Jackie Caplan-Auerbach’s analysis of the seismic data showcased the profound impact of music and collective excitement on the Earth’s surface.

As Swift continues her triumphant tour, she leaves behind not only unforgettable memories for her fans but also a scientific marvel that highlights the interplay between music, human energy, and the ground beneath our feet. The Swift Quake will undoubtedly be remembered as one of the most extraordinary intersections of science and pop culture.

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